Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Inadequacy of Jung's Psychology in the Realization of the Soul

Response to:  David Johnston's - 'Jung’s Psychology of the Living God and Transformation of Individual and Community.'  

Let me begin by saying that David Johnston has made an admirable presentation of the psychology of CG Jung. As I read it, time and again I found myself saying, ‘yes… but’. Many of the concepts employed in Jung’s thought reflect well respected metaphysical propositions some of which touch upon certain Supramental truths but in the final analysis, when Jung’s thought is used in an attempt to clarify the deeper principles of Sri Aurobindo’s, the Mother’s and Thea’s work, it falls miserably short of the goal. To his credit David has included the appropriate caveats that he is not attempting to synthesize the work of Carl Jung and Sri Aurobindo, but my sense is that he believes, as some have written, that Jung's psychology is capable of preparing the ground for the Gnostic experience. In fact it has even been said that the Jungian Individuation is a pointer, a stepping stone to the Aurobindonian transformation. I do not agree with this proposition for a number of reasons but I understand why many of Sri Aurobindo’s devotees would embrace Jung’s work with this expectation, especially those living in the West.

Anyone familiar with Sri Aurobindo’s work will understand that it represents a radical departure from the goal of an old spirituality which sought in its entirety an escape from birth and death through a transcendental experience which dissolved the nexus of consciousness that held the individual in the world. But very few appreciate that the success of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga turns upon that same nexus of consciousness or Soul only realized more profoundly as the foundation and support of the Supermind. In the Vedic age this point or nexus was known as 'Skambha' (the 'pillar', 'support') of the Veda and it was considered to be the Supreme Principle or ‘fulcrum of creation’ but with the advent of a transcendental spirituality bent on escape from a so-called illusory world of becoming, knowledge of ‘Skambha’ fell into obscurity and was soon considered irrelevant. No one since the Vedic Age has actually realized Skambha but we find mention of its supreme importance in the writings of the renowned Indian guru Ram Chandra. In his Complete Works, in a chapter entitled “The Final State”, Ram Chandra writes of the final stage of yogic practice:

“the final approach…where we are nearest to the Super-active Center, or Zero, which is the primeval cause of the entire manifestation. …This can best be expressed as the state of Tam – “no light and no darkness.” This is what takes us along now and there is no end to it. We may go on and on but this will remain with us forever. If there be a great soul of caliber who may be able to comprehend what lies beyond, he may be able to discover that there is a point, rather a ring, there. The conception of a ring around a centre is indispensable. Such a one as is capable of having an experience of the central point is very rarely born. Still let me reveal something about it. Suppose there be such a great soul in existence who wishes to discover what exists within, tries to peep into the ring around which all the powers of Nature originate, then he is pushed back from it. Anyhow, if after undergoing all shocks he is finally able to make out something of it then words would fail to express it. This is the final limit of human approach and none so far has been able to go beyond. Advancement even up to this point is well nigh impossible”

In this extraordinary passage, Ram Chandra confirms that the realization of what he calls ‘Tam’ is well nigh impossible. That such a one as is capable of having an experience of this central point is rarely born. For me his statement parallels the statement of the Mother when she wrote that, ‘… at each great epoch there has been one great being capable of adding one more step to the ladder and reaching a place where the ordinary consciousness has never been… and this is the work of the Avatar...’ But what few have understood is that ‘adding one more step’ was not just limited to Sri Aurobindo’s realization of the Supermind. Each of the members of the Solar Line, Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Thea, have realized what heretofore has been considered impossible or unattainable. For Sri Aurobindo it was the transcendent heights of the Supermind, exceeding Krishna’s Overmental consciousness. For the Mother it was the highest realization of the Cosmic Divine and its expression in Her Vedic temple as the greatest feat of sacred architecture ever conceived. And for Thea, it is the realization of the Soul, Skambha, the sacred ‘Point’ whose attainment Ram Chandra reserved for the rarest of individuals. It is this very same Point that is expressed in the translucent globe that captures the descending light of the Supreme in the Mother’s Inner Chamber.

This extraordinary realization is recorded in Thea’s book, The New Way, Volume 3. She made the following comments on that realization for the Vishaal Study Group on 26 September, 2006: 

‘As most of you know, the essence of my contribution to the work of the Solar Line has been that POINT and penetration into a special ‘zone’ where alignment can come into being. … Ram Chandra had attained something solid of the ancient Way, and knew it to be that. But he held that one could not enter that Point. He got to its portals – what he calls the ‘ring’ (around the Point – which of course describes the symbol of the Sun, the Supermind). He held that one could not enter that tam, as he called it – or darkness, absolute ‘ignorance’, or unknowing; actually it is the Absoluteness of Immanence; and he himself never did. He got to its portals, but since he did not go into the Point, he did not find the Golden Seed which that darkness hides; as Sri Aurobindo explained it, the Sun of Light, the luminous Zero, not emptiness but Light. Not having the Supermind, he could not make that passage. But he knew that was IT. How extraordinary. The most remarkable ‘coincidence’ is that the supreme realisation I had and which began on 17 April 1983, is what Ram Chandra-ji stated was only for very rare individuals. Two days later he left his body, 19 April 1983.’

In the November 1969 Agenda (at age 91) the Mother confirmed the utmost importance of this realization writing that
'...this new world is nothing other than a rapid convergence upon the knowledge of the point and the whole (i.e. the One and the Many).‘The whole is brought with lightening speed toward the consciousness that will be this Consciousness of the point and the whole at the same time.’

For those of us who appreciate the indispensable role of the Soul as the solid foundation of the Supermind, it is patently obvious that Carl Jung’s discoveries, grounded as they are in the old Anatmic schools of dissolution, do not even approach being able to provide the inner alignment that Sri Aurobindo insists be sought out first before any ascension into vertical dimensions can begin:

“FIRST, there must be a conversion inwards, a going within to find the inmost psychic being (Soul) and bring it out to the front, disclosing at the same time the inner mind, inner vital, inner physical parts of the nature. Next, there must be an ascension, a series of conversions upwards and a turning down to convert the lower parts.” Sri Aurobindo - Letters on Yoga, December 2, 1946, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press, India, 1946, Planes and Parts of the Being. p. 251

In the final analysis, I am compelled to agree with Sri Aurobindo who described psychology, including Jung’s, as, ‘…an infant science, at once rash, fumbling and crude, which has the universal habit of the human mind to take partial or local truths, generalize them unduly and try to explain the whole field of human nature in its narrow terms.’  In fact, the only reason Jung is mentioned at all in conjunction with Sri Aurobindo’s yoga is through a misguided attempt by some to fill the void left by Auroville’s rejection of Thea as the Third member of the Solar Line. This inappropriate substitution has been a predictable failure given the lack of realization among the Auroville elite.

No comments: